An excellent Silver Age Arcade Game
. Cyberball came out in about 1989, and was basically a futuristic football simulator
that replaced players
and replaced the traditional down
system with a ball that would explode
if it was not passed the 50 yard line
, then the goal line
, in about 4 or 5 plays (certain plays could make it 'hotter'). Your team could earn money
by making plays, sacking the quarterback
, and scoring
goals. This money could then be spent to upgrade
your players to be faster or stronger
What made cyberball better than any other football arcade game was that its multiplayer system was split between two consoles placed at a 90 degree angle to each other, so that each team could not see what the other team was planning, or which players were controlled by whom. This opened the door for lots of strategy and dirty tricks to be pulled. It was playing this game with my geek friends that gave me a real appreciation for the tactics of football, rather than actually watching the games, which I thought were boring up until then. A full game was well worth the $1.50 per person we'd have to spend ( the game was broken up into sixths by the market-savvy designers ). Eventually, my high school had an entire clique of players that would get together around the machine on weekends to square off against each other (we'd use the week days to plot new tactics).
Cyberball was never really ported that well to console games, and without the challenge of human opponents, a constant battle against the AI became kind of boring. Too recent to be considered a classic, it is now mostly forgotten. Sigh.